Nov 19, 2011

A Day at the Roman Baths

Be warned, tons of pictures below, grab a coffee or tea before reading!

Continuing my story backwards.....  The city of Bath -,_Somerset

One week ago today, last Saturday (12 Nov), I spent the day in the city of Bath with Jason and Adam!

Once again, Jason's car and they came and picked me up at the hotel at 8am in the morning.  For those who know these 2 characters having them show up on time and at 8am in the morning was a small miracle on itself.  But I can't thank then enough for a great day.

In 2008 I managed to see Bath for a few hours but we arrived rather late in the day so was unable to visit the Roman Bath's and most of the other sites as it was getting dark.   But I was able to tell that this was a city to revisit, the best picture I got that trip was this one;

(click the images for bigger versions)

Ever since then I've been wanting to get back.   ;-)

For those who don't know about Bath and it's history, I recommend reading the link I put at the top.   A very long story but basically, the area has hot springs, the Romans found the place and couldn't figure it out so they figured it was a magical place given to them by the gods.  So they built themselves some luxurious bathtubs where they hung out all day because they were special and deserved it.  This was all around 47AD.  Over time the Romans left and it was abandoned for many years until the site was "rediscovered" and the kings and queens decided it was their turn to soak in the tubs.    That's my version and I'm sticking to it!  hahaha.

Actually the whole city just drips of history and is a must see if you visit England.  Even with all the tourists all over the place it is an amazing place.  Given that most of the buildings here are older then Canada it's quite the feeling to be around all this stuff.

We arrived around 9am before many of the tourists landed so we got an early start.   The first big thing you see when you arrive at is the Abbey, you can't miss it.

Thinking back on it, I didn't see anything as to if the church is ever open to enter but to be honest I never looked.  It must be amazing inside.  Something to check out on my next visit.

Given the small number of tourists we immediately took to the Roman Baths.  Inside your issued with a phone type device that you hold up to your ear for an audio tour (they also had these at Stonehenge and Avebury) and you type numbers into the keypad as you arrive at different spots along the way.  I gave up on it around a quarter of the way through as I found it was getting rather irritating.

The baths are a bit deceptive as they have been rebuilt numerous times.  Some of it is Roman and some of it is from the English.  Although they seem to concentrate mostly on the Roman history surrounding the site.

 The balcony above the bath below is from a later era but the piece below is actually just above the Roman Baths.  It's very stunning to be standing on this spot and be able to see the baths below and the Abbey next door.  The colour actually is green making it not very appealing to look at but the water is around 47C and the steam can be seen rising from it.

Looking in the other direction.  If you look close you can see there are statues all along the top railing as you walk about the bath.

 The only way to really capture how these look was via panormas.  If you look you can see the flaws in the stitching but the images are way to cool not to publish.  Can you image hanging out here in the bath ;-)  Get your toga!

Once inside your assaulted with many of the artifacts and history displays of the site.  All very intersting and took about 2 hours to run through.

 This is what they believed was from the front entrance to the bath.  As you can see, pieces are missing.  The image below is what they believed the rest of it looked like.  A nice use of a light show!

Must have been something to see.

 Naturally they found bodies in the ruins, how would you like to be on show for all to see?  Not the burial shroud on the bottom shelf.

  Throughout there are many carvings, figureheads and monument markers like the ones above.

 Some of the mosaic floors that were recovered.  Some very interesting work.

  The figurehead on the right is the gilt bronze head from the cult statue of Sulis Minerva from the temple.  It was found in Stall street in 1727.  Can you image finding something like this in your backyard?

 Throughout the site they found coins from many eras and from all over Europe.

The picture on the left is of an overflow of the water rising from the spring.   The spring gushes about 1.1 million litres per day upwards.

To the right are the pillars that were made to hold the floor up.  I've heard 2 stories about these.  One was that the hot air was allowed to circulate underneath to warm the floors and the other was that slaves would crawl underneath and light fires to keep the floors warm.

One of the many statues above the baths.

 Jason hanging out in front of the bath.

and myself.

 We then started walking around the city.   Archways over the city roads and very interesting rounded buildings.

We found a real estate listing for apartments in this building - oh my!

Figured I'd stop writing and let you take the photos of this beautiful city in for yourself.


  1. Wow thanks for the share I really enjoyed reading and see the photos!! :)

  2. Your welcome anonymous! ;-) Stay tuned, pictures from London will be up within the next few days.

  3. Oh wow ... amazing!

    Love your perspective shots of the Abbey, particularly the second one. Lovely blue skies too.

    The panos of the bath are amazing again ... nicely done! Does the water have an odour ... sulphur or anything? I love the images with the steam.

    The whole post is amazing ... beautiful architecture everywhere, lovely greens and golds and blues. Thanks Scott. Looking forward to the next instalment. :D

  4. Great photos as always! Looking forward to seeing London :)